FDA Narrows Spinach Warning
FDA: Spinach in E. coli Outbreak Linked to Natural Selection Foods
WebMD News Archive
Companies Involved continued...
Most of the salad products can be identified by the labels Trader Joe's, My
Brothers Pizza, or Chef on the Run and are in clamshell containers. Pizza
products are in round cardboard bottoms with a plastic wrap.
All salad products will have a "USE BY DATE" on or before Sept. 20,
2006. Pizza products will have a "USE BY DATE" on or before Sept. 23,
2006. The products were distributed through various retail outlets in Alaska,
Oregon, Washington, and Idaho; they weren't distributed internationally.
Q. What is E. coli?
A. E. coli is a bacterium. There are hundreds of strains of E. coli
bacteria; the strain involved in the current outbreak is E. coli O157:H7.
Q. Is this strain of E. coli more dangerous than other strains?
"E. coli O157 is a particularly dangerous type of E. coli
because it can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome," a form of kidney
failure, says CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson. "So it can be more severe
Q. What are the symptoms of E. coli infection?
E. coli O157:H7 causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools.
"Anybody who does develop diarrhea after consuming fresh spinach should
see their doctor and also ask [the doctor] to take a specimen for testing,"
Most healthy adults recover completely within a week, but some may develop
hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Q. How long does it take for symptoms of E. coli infection to appear?
A. "Twelve to 36 hours, normally. Up to a week in some cases,"
Richard Linton, PhD, tells WebMD. Linton is a professor of food science and the
director of the Center for Food Safety Engineering at Purdue University.
Q. What is hemolytic uremic syndrome?
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a life-threatening complication of E.
coli infection affecting the kidneys.
It's usually treated in intensive care and often requires blood transfusions
and kidney dialysis. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk
for the complication.
Even with intensive care treatment, the death rate for hemolytic uremic
syndrome is 3% to 5%, according to the CDC.